Save Your Children’s Smiles This Halloween

With Halloween nearly upon us, it is time to get the children primed for trick-or-treating! Your little ones are likely already excited for all the Halloween festivities!

Halloween, with all its fun dressing up and devouring sweets can be extra hard on your children’s pearly whites. From a dental perspective, excess candy consumption is unhealthy for teeth. If you are not careful, it could send your children down the fast lane towards cavities. To safeguard against this take some time to establish healthy eating habits before the holiday gets going.

Our dentists want to share with you some vital tips to make the most of this Halloween while keeping your children cavity-free.

Set a Candy Limit
Most parents have already discovered that denying children something they really want—like candy—will make them want it even more. When you aren’t looking, they’re off sneaking or binging on forbidden foods which aren’t good for them. Because Halloween means having fun, you want the experience of eating candy to be fun. Consider setting a candy limit which can help keep your child smiling.

Establish good ground rules for your little trick-or-treaters this Halloween. Make sure they wait until the return home to start sampling the goods. Encourage them to wait so that you can go through the stash with them. Have them choose a certain number of candies that they really want to dive into, saving the rest for later.

Picking Favorites
While perusing the candy loot, educate your children about the candy as they go. Explain how taffy, caramels, jolly ranchers, gummy bears and hard candies like jaw-breakers can damage their teeth. The extra sugar in these candies can stick between their teeth and gums and hang around causing tooth decay.

To avoid eating those kinds of heavy-hitting candies, have your children pick a wide range of candies and ask them to choose a favorite type that they can eat over time.

Teach Your Children
Learning is fun when done together. You can help your children decide what kind of candy to eat, when to eat it, and at the same time teach them that candy isn’t always bad for you when eaten thoughtfully and in moderation. This will help them learn how to be proactive in managing their diet to avoid cavities and bad health.

Creating a Special Time for Treats
If you have little ones, let them know when to eat their candy. If you set a designated time for them after school to eat three pieces of their favorites, or after dinner when they can choose helps them to understand that there is a special time for eating sweets, not just all day long. And finally, brushing and flossing after they eat sweets will teach them healthy eating habits when it comes to decay causing foods. Encourage your children to pay extra attention to their brushing and flossing routine during the holidays so they can enjoy their healthy smiles the rest of the year!

Please call our office at 503.877.1844 if you have any questions regarding your children’s oral health.